Mangaluru, Oct 6: Staff enrichment refers to the processes, programme and activities through which every organisation develops, enhances and improves the skills, competencies and overall performance of its employees.
To meet this objective various sessions were organised for the staff of SAPUC to improve their knowledge, skills and performance in line with the goals and values of the institution.
A session on ‘Self awareness and self esteem’ was given by Fr Joye James, former secretary, Jesuit higher education in South Asia. He stated that “The essence of education is not in mere memorization of facts, but in moulding of minds and hearts”.
He dwelled on a deeper understanding of distinguishing knowledge & awareness, promotion of interpersonal relationships which are prerequisites for the holistic development of intellect in its varied dimensions. He motivated teachers to make the teaching participative by fostering activities that encourage group dynamics and critical thinking amongst the learners.
Fr Joye also displayed the spectrum of empathy and explained in detail why it was imperative to practice and exercise compassion, in the current times of value conflicts. He also gave an overview on universal apostolic preferences of Jesuits- showing the way to god, journeying with youth, walking with the excluded and caring for our common home and highlighted the works being carried out by the Jesuits in India on these points.
Fr Cedric Prakash J, Human rights and peace activist from Gujarat, gave a thought provoking talk on ‘Human Rights and present day challenges’ and urged the teachers to stir the minds of the youth to be secular, democratic, open minded and to challenge the injustices in the present day world.
Fr Cedric gave insights in to the loopholes in the education system that brings in discrimination against the students of rural and backward classes. He explained how the constitution is the basis to provide equal rights to all the citizens and gave examples of how they are being violated.
He voiced concerns on child labour, curbs on the freedom of speech, attack on liberal media and in general legitimizing injustice. Fr Cedric expected the teachers to take initiative in channelizing energy to challenge the infringement in human rights and moulding the students to be men and women for and with others in the true sense.
The session on ‘Legal Aspects Related to Adolescence’ was conducted by advocate K Nikesh Shetty , who explicated on laws applicable to adolescents. His unequivocal session had insights into the POCSO Act 2012, the process of reporting offences under POCSO, cyber laws, and the principles of care and protection act. He explained the need for separate regulations for children and the statutes leading to POCSO Act 2012. He also voiced his concerns on atrocities on girls, minors and pedophilia.
‘Overcoming challenges of teaching Gen Z’ session was taken up by Vimarsha Jain, a practicing psychologist and counselor in Mangaluru. Her interactive session provided insights into the characteristics of Gen –Z and the general notion of teacher-student relationship. She suggested that to overcome the challenges of teaching Gen Z we need to redefine the student-teacher relationship and build a connection that is mutual, respectful and healthy.
The educative sessions helped the teachers to equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills to mentor the youth to become torch bearers for a better future.